In 2004, California had a population of 36 million and the fifth-largest economy in the world. Starr, USC professor and former California state librarian, has justification for referring to his state as "this nation state, this world commonwealth." His distillation of his previously written seven-volume series, California and the American Dream,
is a single-volume tour de force that is superbly researched and beautifully written. This straight, chronological history opens with a fascinating survey of the geology, climate, flora, and fauna of the region, and then the author provides interesting insights into the achievements and failings of Spanish and Mexican governance, while he pays particular attention to the sad fate of California's indigenous peoples. Most of the book covers the period of American supremacy, and Starr's treatment of topics such as the gold rush, the growth of high-tech industries, and the emergence of California as the center of the motion-picture industry is handled with great aplomb. For both general readers and those with a particular interest in regional history, this is an informative and enjoyable reading experience. Jay FreemanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Kevin Starr is one of California’s greatest historians, and California: A History is an invaluable contribution to our state's record and lore.”
First Lady of California
“From Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Donner Party to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Kevin Starr captures the fullness of California history in one sweeping and masterful narrative. Starr is not only the Golden State’s greatest living chronicler, he is also one of its greatest treasures.”
, senior fellow, New America Foundation, and contributing editor, Los Angeles Times
“I am honored to recommend California: A History, this perfect distillation of Kevin Starr’s life’s work. He is California’s most devoted lover and most passionate advocate, our patron saint. He transforms an already fascinating tale and imbues it with ineffable magic and grace.”
, author of Making a Literary Life
“There is no more knowledgeable or insightful historian of the California dream than Kevin Starr.”
“A magisterially authoritative survey of the movements–geological, political, scientific, artistic, and sociological–that have shaped California into the unique state it is today. This engrossing warts-and-all saga is told with a verve and panache that sweep the reader along.”
–Michael YorkFrom the Hardcover edition.